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Feb 3, 2008



She held her first concert in seven years the past two nights in conjunction with a charity event organized by Institut Jantung Negara. From where I was sitting at the first floor of the plenary hall at the KL Convention Centre, almost all the seats were taken up. I don’t know if the upper levels were packed too.

We were there on the second night, where Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi and wife, Datin Jeanne Abdullah attended as guests of honour. He received cheques from generous donors to the IJN Foundation.

So, because of this pre-concert thing, Sheila only started singing an hour later. If the timing on the ticket stub were to be believed, the show was supposed to start at 8.30pm.

In the first place, we didn’t know he was going to be there.

All we wanted to do was party with Sheila as most of us, the forty-somethings, grew up with her “Pengemis Muda” and “Sinaran” but being seated on the right hand side of the plenary row and just eight rows away from the VIPs, we had to keep our conduct in check.

But it wasn’t for long. As the night progressed, the other half was singing along with Sheila and screaming with the others. And we were on our feet dancing, which we should be doing at a concert anyway, but that was after the other VIPs also stood and clapped along (although I would think they too would want to let loose and danced the night away).

We had sat, listened and sang along in the first segment. In the second part of her show, we were on our feet most of the time. We danced to Tiru Macam Saya, Bunyi Gitar and many more of her 80s hits.

In the finale when she sang Lagenda, the backdrop showed footages of our past and current Prime Ministers. No prize for guessing who got the most thunderous applause. The applause and shouts got louder after each of Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s pictures were shown. You cannot deny him this accolade. We’ve known this man for 22 years of our lives. I covered him for close to 20 years of my 23 years as a journalist.

It was a worthwhile night.

Next month, we hope to party with Harry Connick Jr at the Petronas Philharmonic Hall, KLCC and John Legend at the Starburst KL International Festival at the Bukit Kiara Equestrian and Country Resort.


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